8 November 2015

New York NY, USA

One of the first films Alfred Hitchcock made in the United States was SABOTEUR. The film tells the story of Barry Kane (Robert Cummings), a man wrongfully accused of setting fire in a factory. His search for the real culprit, Frank Fry (Norman Lloyd), takes him from the west to the east coast across America. The climax of the movie is set on top of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Saboteur, 1:41:35
The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess who holds a book of law under her left arm and bears a torch in her right hand, symbolizing Liberty enlightning the world. The statue was designed by Frédéric Bartholdi. It was gift from France to the United States and was officially dedicated on 28 October 1886. Gustav Eiffel was responsible for the iron construction of the 151 feet high statue which can be accessed from the inside all the way up to the torch. The Statue of Liberty can be only visited by taking a ferry from Battery Park in Manhattan to Liberty Island.

Filming on Liberty Island and the statue was done on 15 December 1941. Since then the monument has been restored several times, including replacing the flames of the torch in 1986.
During our visit I had not yet seen the film, the similarities with the photographs I took are coincidental.

Saboteur, 1:34:00
Liberty Island viewed from Ellis Island, New York, 10 August 2006 

The reason why I am mentioning this movie is that Norman Lloyd, the actor who plays the title role, today celebrates his 101st birthday! Saboteur was his movie debut and he is still active as an actor (see the Internet Movie Database). In the scene pictured below he is standing on the ferry and is looking at Barry Kane’s girlfriend Patricia Martin (Priscilla Lane) who is following him. When he has arrived on Liberty Island he watches over his shoulder before entering the statue.

Saboteur, 1:34:10
Statue of Liberty, New York, 10 August 2006
Saboteur, 1:34:23
Statue of Liberty, New York, 10 August 2006

Several scenes were filmed in the studio where parts of the Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were reconstructed, including the phone booth that Patricia Martin uses to warn the police. In the background part of the skyline of Manhattan can be seen which has changed completely in the years that have passed. Still recognizable are the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building from 1930 (red arrow, today The Trump Building) and the Cities Service Building from 1932 (blue arrow, nowadays owned by Rose Associates).

Saboteur, 1:35:01
Manhattan viewed from Liberty Island,
New York, 10 August 2006

Screenshots © Universal